Frequently Asked Questions
Camp Erin Boston FAQ
Q: How much does Camp Erin Boston cost?
Q: Where is Camp Erin Boston?
A: Camp Erin Boston is held at Camp Avoda in Middleboro, MA for the weekend.
Q: I don’t have a car, should I still fill out an application for my child(ren)?
A: Absolutely! Camp Avoda is accessible by taking the Middleboro/Lakeville Commuter Rail Line to the Middleboro/Lakeville stop. Camp Avoda has a van and we can schedule pick-ups and drop-offs at the station. An adult must be willing to travel with the camper to and from camp.
The Middleboro/Lakeville Line can be picked up at South Station, JFK/UMASS, Quincy Center, Braintree, Holbrook/Randolph, Montello, Brockton, Campello, Bridgewater.
Q: Who are the volunteers?
A: Camp Erin volunteers are ages 18 and above and come from a variety of different professions; teachers, counselors, musicians, analysts, scientists, college students and more. About half of the volunteers each year are returning volunteers. Volunteers attend an interview and training and are screened (CORI & SORI) before they can become volunteers.
Q: What is the Ice Cream Social? Is it important to attend?
A: The Ice Cream Social is our pre-camp event that takes place about a month before camp. All volunteers and campers are expected to attend so they can meet their cabin mates and their buddies before arriving at camp. This event often helps calm any jitters or nerves and makes the camp drop-off process more comfortable.
Q: When do we drop campers off?
A: Campers are asked to arrive between 3-4:30PM. Campers will then meet with their cabins and head to dinner at 6pm.
Q: When do we pick the campers up?
A: Parents, caregivers, and family members are asked to arrive at 12pm on Sunday. You will meet with Jennifer Wiles, Director of Camp Erin Boston and your camper(s)’ grief counselor(s) and have lunch before reuniting with your camper(s) for the closing ceremony. You will then sign your camper(s) out.
Q: Where do the campers sleep?
A: Each camper is assigned a cabin based on age and gender. Each cabin has running water and electricity. The Big Buddies (1:1 volunteer for each camper) stay in the cabin as well.
Q: What do the campers eat?
A: Camp Avoda is well versed in creating kid friendly menus, following special diets, and knowing which food allergies our campers and volunteers have. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are in the dining hall. We have snacks and water available throughout the day.
Q: How old are the campers?
A: We invite campers who will be ages 6-17 during their camp weekend.
Q: What is this camp like for teens?
A: Camp Erin provides a lot of positive opportunities for the teens who attend. Cabins and activity groups are divided up by age group, so both the fun, camp activities and the grief activities are age appropriate. In addition to the activities, the time spent with peers and the volunteers helps to build a positive, fun experience, and often lead to discussions and different topics, jokes, and other moments that create a strong bond in the cabin. The teen cabins are often known at camp for their cohesiveness.
Q: What if my camper has a problem?
A: Campers are assured that they can call home at any time. There are at least two volunteers per child so there are always enough adults to care for your camper(s). There is a 24/7 health center where there will be two camp nurses at all times.
Q: Grief camp sounds sad and depressing, what makes it a good experience?
A: Campers and even some volunteers are often surprised at how much fun they end up having at camp. We incorporate grief processing activities, expressive arts, and traditional camp and sports activities to create a balanced weekend. Being in a group of peers who have also experienced a death can be validating for the campers. Campers always have the opportunity to ‘pass’ when their group is talking about the person or people who died. Many campers also feel that the activities at camp are a way to celebrate and honor the person or people who died. We certainly acknowledge the sadness that comes with a death, and we actively work with each camper to promote coping skills, resiliency and hope for their future.
In addition to Camp Erin, we offer monthly bereavement groups for children, teens, and young adults through our HEARTplay Program that runs September –June. www.heartplayprogram.org
Q: Can my camper(s) bring their cell phone, iPod, iPad, etc.?
A: All electronics and valuable items are to be left at home. Campers will have 24/7 access to the Camp Director’s cell phone. The days are so busy that there is no time to use electronics.